Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Beautiful Bird

So for all my "practical-ness" (and if that's not a word, then I have just made it one), I do have one streak that is decidedly unpractical. I firmly believe that sometimes you just have to have things are are otherwise useless, save for the fact that they are "pretty".

A good example of this fact is that I have been enamored with a breed of chicken for a couple of years now that most people would not want on their farm.

This bird does not lay very many eggs, it's a horrible meat bird, you couldn't use the term "dual purpose" around it without smirking, and you wouldn't dare keep a rooster of this breed around any other male of the chicken race.

To speak plainly, dear readers, I have fallen in love with a bird that has been bred for cockfighting.

Please meet the Pumpkin Hulsey.

Original source of photo unknown
In person, these birds are stunning. They are the color of fire and coal with smoldering browns in betwixt. They have been bred for one purpose and one purpose only: to fight and to win. They have speed, intelligence, and strength. And they are unbelievably rare.

Their color is what first got me... I loved the autumn hues that they have! Then their history intrigued me... And then finally their rarity got me hook, line, and sinker. I wanted a pair of these birds by the name of Hulsey.

So I began a long, long search... I followed uncountable rabbit trails, met dead ends, skulked poultry forums, sent emails, and then finally ducked into the murky depths of the underground world of cockfighting. If anyone would know where I could find a pair of Pumpkin Hulseys, it would be a cock fighter. Now, I didn't actually know that cock fighting was still something that happened today when I first set out on this adventure. I thought it was something of the past; you know some deep dark secret of our nations history that ended when some PETA member had a conniption about the shebang. Turns out it's still alive and kicking if you know where to look. ;) And wowee did I ever learn a lot! Apparently fighting birds have pedigrees of their own that can put a goat pedigree to shame. Purists of this underground world rigorously keep each bloodline pure, and will aggressively protect the lineage of their prized fowl. What I thought was a simple question of wondering where to get a Hulsey, turned into a long-winded discussion on which exact bloodline I was looking for in that breed. Ummm, yes? Can't someone just point me in the general direction of a good looking bird? Cockfighters shook their head 'no'. 

But before I go any further, I would like to state extremely clearly here that I have NO INTENTION OF COCKFIGHTING with birds of my own. Nope, it's not my thing. I love the Pumpkin Hulseys, but I flat out refuse to have any fights breaking out on the property with these birds. 

That being said, it really did intrigue me to see what level of care cockfighters will put into their birds. And I thought I spoiled my goats... Alas, all I found in that contraband ring were a couple of breeders who offered to sell me a pair of Hulseys for the price of $1,000. Ouch. Back to the old drawing board...

Then, wonder of wonders, Greenfire Farms (whom I have a very high respect for!) suddenly listed Pumpkin Hulseys on their website and even had juvenile birds for sale!! The price was still a bit steep, $100 for a pair, but that's a heck of a lot cheaper than One Grand. Weekly budgeting showed that spending $100 for a pair of "useless" birds was out of the question... Sigh. Couldn't this be like a late birthday present to myself? Or an early Christmas present? The checkbook didn't waver under these pleas. There are 2 cows and 10 goats to feed, no you do not have a spare one hundred greenbacks just laying around. Maybe I should ask the tooth fairy for a raise... Hmm. 

But still, the thought and hope of getting some Hulseys has been haunting the back of my mind. As I was writing this post, I hopped over to Greenfire Farms and what do you think I saw? They took the Hulseys off their website. Grrrr! So now I really am back to square one!

I could be doing so many things with my life right now, but for some reason I'm hunting for a bird that can only be called "pretty". Sounds about right.


Anonymous said...

No matter how pretty, it is probably better not to go there. They will be vicious. We used to have cock fighting around here, I wouldn't know it except for flying in a hot air balloon over a place that kept them. It was very strange. Each bird had separate housing.

How about black copper marans? They are a huge fad and if you got really good ones you could probably make money from them.

Jan (lissablack)

Goat Song said...

Yep, they all have to stay separate for obvious reasons. ;) The stags *can* be aggressive, but it's usually no worse than any other rooster is towards a human.

I used to have marans! Not the black copper ones, but I'm familiar with the breed. I'm not a huge fan of the breed, but it could just be that I didn't have very good quality...

nancy said...

Could you get some females and breed your own?

Jocelyn said...

Can I suggest the blue laced red Wyandotte? THAT's a beautiful bird! Also rare, but not as hard to come by, and by no means as expensive.

I used to want an Old English Game Cock, but I don't want to get beat up by a bird. However,they are gorgeous.